Your Rights as a Parent in the Early Intervention Program
Parents have rights under the Early Intervention Program that you should know. Your Early Intervention Official is responsible for making sure you know about your rights. These rights include:
- The right to say yes or no to having your child evaluated or screened and taking part in a family assessment.
- The right to say yes or no to participating in the Early Intervention Program without risking the right to take part in the future.
- The right to say yes or no to any certain type of early intervention service without risking your right to other types of early intervention services.
- The right to keep information about your family private.
- The right to look at and change your child's written record under the Early Intervention Program.
- The right to be told by your Early Intervention Official about any possible changes in your child's evaluation or other early intervention services before any changes are made.
- The right to take part – and ask others to take part – in all meetings where decisions will be made about changes in your child's evaluation or services.
- The right to use due process procedures to settle complaints.
- The right to an explanation of how your insurance may be used to pay for early intervention services.
Part of your service coordinator's job is to explain these rights to you and make sure you understand them and help you carry them out.
Your child's records
Your child's record includes all written materials developed or used for the Early Intervention Program. Your child's record may include:
- Information gathered as part of your child's referral to the Early Intervention Official.
- Screening and evaluation reports and summaries.
- Your family assessment (if you took part in one).
- Your Individualized Family Service Plan and all documents related to the plan.
- Progress notes and other information about your child's and family's services prepared by early intervention service providers (including your service coordinator).
- Any records about complaints you may have filed.
- All other records involving your child and family.
All information in your child's record must be kept confidential by the Early Intervention Official and early intervention evaluators, service providers, and service coordinators. You must give your written permission to allow information in your child's record to be released. There are two types of "releases" that you can sign:
- A selective release – this type of release requires you to identify the persons who can access the information in your child's record and from whom they can get the information.
- A general release – this type of release will allow information to be shared with individuals and agencies that will be providing services to your child and family.
No matter what type of release you sign, you can change your decision about who can access your child's record at any time.